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message 1: by Chrissie (last edited Oct 08, 2010 11:38PM) (new)

Chrissie I adore memoirs and biographies! The following are some of my favorites. Some are "historical fiction", but they stick very close to the known facts.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
NOT a memoir but it reads like one....my mistake!
The Snoring Bird: My Family's Journey Through a Century of Biology
A Soldier of the Great War
War Trash
The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood
The Storyteller's Daughter: One Woman's Return to Her Lost Homeland
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious Character
The Seamstress
Skylark Farm: A Novel
Blue Boy
Saints and Villains
The House by the Dvina: A Russian Childhood
That Summer in Sicily: A Love Story
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China
Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet
The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews
Eleni
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl
Olga's Story: Three Continents, Two World Wars and Revolution--One Woman's Epic Journey Through the Twentieth Century
My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq
The Painted Kiss
ArroganceThe Josephine Bonaparte Trilogy
Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire
No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II
By Fire, By Water
THE STORYTELLER: MEMORY, SECRETS, MAGIC AND LIES
JAMIE WYETH

As you can see, the subjects covered are diverse. The list is not in any particular order. I have written reviews for practically all of these. IF you are interested in reading my reviews, maybe the easiest way is to go to my profile, click on reviews, and search by typing the title of the book you are interested in!

I thought others could add their favorites......


message 2: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (new)


message 3: by Chrissie (last edited Oct 08, 2010 11:56PM) (new)

Chrissie Ed, how could I have forgotten Anne Frank! I was worried that I should maybe have just added this to your "Favorite Book and Author" file. If you think it is better to move it there, go right ahead. I do not want to make a mess for you!

"Winston Churchill" by John Keegan sounds very good. I have added it. Does it go into the reasons that explain why Churchill was NOT elected after WW2? This is rather startling. I am curious to know more.

P.S. I also fixed an error in my list!


message 4: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Which's one more heartbreaking: Anne Frank's memoir or Elie Wiesel's Night?


message 5: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Silvana, they are different but I think Anne Frank's memoir is more heartbreaking. Maybe b/c I read it as a child and knew less about the world's evils. That is a difficult question. Comparing monstrous events just cannot be done.


message 6: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
Chrissie wrote: ""Winston Churchill" by John Keegan sounds very good. I have added it. Does it go into the reasons that explain why Churchill was NOT elected after WW2? This is rather startling. I am curious to know more."

This particular bio of Churchill is less than 300 pages, which is one of the reasons I liked it. No, it does not go into great detail about the 1945 election. I think you would have to find a much more complete Churchill biography to find an explanation of what happened in that election.


message 7: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 310 comments Mod
Unfortunately, William Manchester's biographies of Churchill, while excellent, don't extend past 1940 - he never got to volume three, as far as I know.


message 9: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Thanks, Silvana! I will now check out your list. :0) FUN!


message 11: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) The Cleopatra book looks interesting especially since it's newly released so I hope there are much updated facts in it. Reading the reviews...hmm not so much. Oh well, we'll see if I could manage to grab a copy. Never read something Eqyptian so far. Thanks Moony.


message 12: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 310 comments Mod
I'm enjoying it - Cleopatra, A Life, I mean.


message 13: by Hock (new)

Hock Tjoa (hockgtjoa) I read Abraham Lincoln's Letters and Speeches. (It makes me want to cry or rant when the comparison with current politicians come to mind.) The Letters of John and Abigail Adams were good too. And Walter Isaacson's book on Henry Kissinger has some nice stories to deflate the living legend.


message 14: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
hockgtjoa wrote: "I read Abraham Lincoln's Letters and Speeches. (It makes me want to cry or rant when the comparison with current politicians come to mind.) The Letters of John and Abigail Adams were good too. A..."

It doesn't even take me reading the letters and speeches of people like Lincoln and Adams, to make me rant when listening or reading what our current crop of functionally illiterate politicians are spewing.

I must say, though, that Obama is a welcome relief. I am in awe of his ability to articulate in an understandable way, what he wants to communicate.


message 15: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 310 comments Mod
I finished the Cleopatra biography and found it very interesting.


message 16: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
Susanna wrote: "I finished the Cleopatra biography and found it very interesting."

Let me know when you review it.


message 17: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 310 comments Mod
Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Schiff. 4 stars.

My review:

"I found this a very interesting read.

Schiff makes a point of emphasizing how much we don't know about Cleopatra, and why. How the ancient sources often don't agree with each other, and why some may (or may not) be more trustworthy than others.

How we don't have Cleopatra's version of things handed down, but Octavian's."


message 18: by Paul (new)

Paul (taytothief) The Hare With Amber Eyes is a really good read. It kind of dips and dabs into different areas, but I'd definitely recommend it. ;)


message 19: by KOMET (new)

KOMET | 48 comments As a fan of biographies and memoirs, I like to cite the following from my library ---

Indira: The Life of Indira Gandhi by Katherine Frank

"INDIRA" was one of the best of its genre that I ever read. Indira Gandhi was a remarkable leader.

Slipstream by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Elizabeth Jane Howard, a writer from the UK, is probably best known internationally for her "Cazalet Chronicles" series of historical novels that are largely set in Britain between 1937 and 1947. I read them all and LOVED THEM!!!

Palimpsest by Gore Vidal

Point to Point Navigation by Gore Vidal

GORE VIDAL is one of the best writers to emerge in the past 65 years. I'm proud to say I have his autograph.

True Compass: A Memoir by Edward M. Kennedy

Chips: The Diaries of Sir Henry Channon by Henry Channon

Autobiography of Mark Twain: The Complete and Authoritative Edition, Volume 1 by Mark Twain

Knocking Down Barriers: My Fight for Black America by Jr., Truman K. Gibson

Songs of Blood and Sword by Fatima Bhutto

Fatima Bhutto is the niece of Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, who was murdered in 2007.

Murderers and Other Friends: Another Part of Life by John Mortimer

Clinging to the Wreckage by John Mortimer

John Mortimer, who was a barrister, scriptwriter, and novelist, is best known for his stories about Rumpole of the Bailey. I highly recommend his "Rumpole" stories to anyone who loves a good story from a writer at the top of his game.


Into battle: A soldier's diary of the Great War by John Bagot Glubb

Glubb, after his First World War service, went on to organize and lead the Arab Legion out of Transjordan in the years leading up to the end of the British mandate in Palestine and the founding of the State of Israel in May 1948.

Banco the Further Adventures of Papillon by Henri Charrière

The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul by Patrick French

This V.S. Naipaul biography was one of THE BEST biographies I've ever read. Could hardly put the book put once I started reading.

Morgan: American Financier by Jean Strouse

German Fighter Ace: Hans-Joachim Marseille : The Life Story of the "Star of Africa" by Franz Kurowski

Hitch-22: A Memoir by Christopher Hitchens

I began reading Hitchens' memoir while on holiday in Paris (sitting in a small park near the Avenue de la Republique) last summer (July 2010). It was fascinating.

Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan by Shrabani Basu

Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera

Shooting Water: A Memoir of Second Chances, Family, and Filmmaking by Devyani Saltzman

The author is the daughter of the filmmaker/director Deepa Mehta. I had the opportunity of meeting Miss Saltzman (i.e. the author) at a book reading/signing for this memoir a few years ago. She was very nice and gracious, signing my copy of her memoir.

Monster by Sanyika Shakur

This was one of the best autobiographies I've ever read. PERIOD.

Good-Bye to All That: An Autobiography by Robert Graves

Another compelling autobiography well-worth reading.


Patrick O'Brian: The Making of the Novelist by Nikolai Tolstoy

Tina Modotti: A Life by Pino Cacucci

Tina Modotti (1896-1942) led a varied and peripatetic life as an actress, artist's model (for Edward Weston and Diego Rivera), photographer, and revolutionary activist. A truly remarkable woman.

Tomorrow to Be Brave: A Memoir of the Only Woman Ever to Serve in the French Foreign Legion by Susan Travers

Napoleon: A Biography by Frank McLynn

Paper Houses: A Memoir of the 70s and Beyond by Michele Roberts

The Benn Diaries, 1940-90 by Tony Benn

Benn was one of the longest serving members of the House of Commons in Britain, serving as a Member of Parliament for more than 50 years, as well as a government minister in one of the past Labour governments.

Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Volume One: 1919-1968 by John English

Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau: 1968-2000 by John English

Pierre Trudeau was one of Canada's most distinguished and longest-serving Prime Ministers (from 1968 to 1984). I grew up near Canada, so I derived some knowledge of Trudeau first-hand. He was a true Renaissance Man. I admire Trudeau tremendously.


message 20: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Paul wrote: "The Hare With Amber Eyes is a really good read. It kind of dips and dabs into different areas, but I'd definitely recommend it. ;)"

I have bought this but haven't had a chance to read it yet. It sounds terribly interesting!


message 21: by Dena (new)

Dena | 30 comments Chrissie wrote: "Paul wrote: "The Hare With Amber Eyes is a really good read. It kind of dips and dabs into different areas, but I'd definitely recommend it. ;)"

I have bought this but haven't ha..."


Thanks for the recommendation. I downloaded this from Amazon and I'm enjoying it.


message 22: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Dena, I bought the booK. Do you have it on Kindle? I really find it hard to read except on Kindle where I can make the font big. Maybe, you wouldn't mind lending it to me? Some Kindle books can be leant..... What do you think?


message 23: by Dena (new)

Dena | 30 comments Chrissie wrote: "Dena, I bought the booK. Do you have it on Kindle? I really find it hard to read except on Kindle where I can make the font big. Maybe, you wouldn't mind lending it to me? Some Kindle books can be ..."

Let me check to see if it's lendable. I just finished it and it's really good.


message 24: by Dena (new)

Dena | 30 comments Dena wrote: "Chrissie wrote: "Dena, I bought the booK. Do you have it on Kindle? I really find it hard to read except on Kindle where I can make the font big. Maybe, you wouldn't mind lending it to me? Some Kin..."

It does not appear to be a lendable book. I want to write a review of it but I am absolutely exhausted and have brain fog. Maybe tomorrow. I would gladly lend it to you if it were possible. One of the things I don't like about ebooks.


message 25: by KOMET (new)

KOMET | 48 comments Here are other memoirs/diaries/biographies from my library that I think are worthy of consideration for any fan of the genre ---

Wild Mary: The Life of Mary Wesley by Patrick Marnham

"Mary Wesley published her first novel at [70] and went on to publish nine bestsellers, including the legendary 'The Camomile Lawn'", which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Memoirs by Pablo Neruda

Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napleon by Andrea Di Robilant

Amy Johnson: Queen of the Air by Midge Gillies

Amy Johnson was a pioneer British airwoman during the 1930s who lost her life under mysterious circumstances in 1941 whilst serving in the Air Transport Auxiliary.

Christine: SOE Agent & Churchill's Favourite Spy by Madeleine Masson

Christine Granville "was one of the most successful women agents of the Second World War..."

Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr by Nancy Isenberg

Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl by Steven Bach

Last Words by George Carlin

Sand In My Shoes: Coming of Age in the Second World War: A WAAF's Diary by Joan Rice

"Beginning on a London airbase, then moving to a job in intelligence and ultimately to postings in Egypt and Palestine, as a WAAF [Women's Auxiliary Air Force] Joan Rice witnessed at first hand the greatest war in history."

A Postillion Struck by Lightning by Dirk Bogarde

Snakes and Ladders by Dirk Bogarde

The Man Who Changed Everything: The Life of James Clerk Maxwell by Basil Mahon

Entirely Up to You, Darling by Richard Attenborough

From the famous actor ("The Great Escape" and "The Flight of the Phoenix"), director ("Gandhi"), and philanthropist.

In Spite of Myself: A Memoir by Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer: one of my favorite actors.


message 26: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 66 comments I would also recommend Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr. It changed my perspective on the Founding Fathers in general--particularly Thomas Jefferson.


message 27: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Dena, thanks for checking and thanks for offering to lend me the book even if it isn't possible...... :0(

I love Kindle but it annoys me to no end that
1. the prices are often ridiculously high.
2. Ebooks available in the US are not available in Europe
3. many books are not available on Kindle

I have found this site: www.ereaderiq.com which watches and sends you an emil when a book becomes available in the Kindle format. I do think with time these difficulties will lessen.

But thank you Dena for trying. Reading with a magnifying glass is no fun.


Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18) (violabelcik) I don't read very many memoirs, but the ones I have I mostly loved. My two favorites are A Mountain of Crumbs andRussian Tattoo: A Memoir by Elena Gorokhova. I enjoyed This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl, but not as much as the aforementioned ones. The only other memoir I've read is Stealing Buddha's Dinner, which was good but not my taste.


message 30: by Irene (new)

Irene Kessler | 9 comments Thank you all for these lists. I wrote a memoir which didn't work, turned it into a novel which also didn't work. Some of your suggestions may help me to figure out a new way.
Am presently in revision of an historical novel taking place in the time of Sarah and Abraham. Anyone else writing in that time frame? Or close?


message 31: by Carolcares4u (new)

Carolcares4u (crazycarol) | 22 comments early ancient Egypt


message 32: by Samuel (new)

Samuel  | 3 comments Khomeini's Ghost: The Iranian Revolution and the Rise of Militant Islam

This book, about a man who transformed Middle Eastern geopolitics....in a most unfortunate way.


message 33: by Samuel (new)

Samuel  | 3 comments From Third World to First The Singapore Story 1965-2000 by Lee Kuan Yew

Story of Asia's greatest nation builder, as told by the man himself.


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